Dear Friends ,
My name is Leslie Guerrero Collins and I’m pleased to be serving as the Social Justice team lead for 2023. My family and I have been members of UCC since 2016 and I was previously in this role from 2019-2020. Returning to this special work is very exciting as I know that an opportunity to serve this community though teams or volunteering will surely lead to a rich season of deepened friendships and strident faith-building.
This year, we’ll see the continuation or return of some of our most meaningful missions work such as: an apartment set-up for a refugee family planned for this spring, discovering new ways to celebrate Pride this summer, and the return of the highly anticipated Period Party in September. And of course we’ll be supporting our ongoing missions with our on-site micro pantry and contributions to the Bethany Faith Food Pantry in East Austin. Our first 5th Sunday Project is this Sunday 1/29, and you are invited to join us after the service as we prepare sack lunches in the Fellowship Hall for you to distribute all over Austin to folks in need.
In addition to our missions projects, we have an opportunity and responsibility to dive further into the more clarified definition of “social justice” by being a force for systemic and restorative changes within the larger governing systems of our city and state. The Texas Legislature is currently in session and over 2 dozen bills have been proposed targeting the LGBTQ community. Our calling to radical love and acceptance, and our proximity to the statehouse put us in a unique position to be front row activists in the months ahead. Look for opportunities to march, meet, and speak out as the legislative process moves forward.
I’m excited to collaborate with this family of faith, standing shoulder-to-shoulder as we see what God has in store for 2023.
Greetings, Church Family!
I am excited and honored to write you today in celebration of all we accomplished this past year and to share in the hope and promise of 2023. First and foremost, we invite you to come to this Sunday’s service where we will highlight and thank our leaders from last year and commission our leaders for 2023.
On that note, this Sunday gives us an opportunity to reflect on our growth, both as a church and in numbers. Our accomplishments are many and impressive. We consistently held in-person worship. Our congregational numbers and involvement continue to thrive. We designed and installed a remarkable playscape. Not only that, but also PAID for the playscape in a matter of weeks. And we started up small groups again. And we introduced a new governance structure for the church. And, and, and. There are too many accomplishments to list, but I know we are just warming up. (Watch out, 2023!)
To celebrate our accomplishments, we will be honoring the incredible service of our 2022 leadership, especially those stepping down. Please join us in body, spirit, or virtual presence for this Sunday’s service. Together we will honor those who honor the church. Let us unite in gratitude for their effort and sacrifice to make our church body what it is.
As our 2022 leadership steps down, we extend welcome and hope to our leadership in 2023 through commissioning. We are a congregational church, meaning we thoughtfully and prayerfully direct our church’s future together. Our leadership was voted upon at the end of last year, and Sunday’s commissioning will mark the start of this year’s service.
My friends, it is a pleasure to serve with you and be the body of Christ together.
2023 Council Chair